operating doors and gates

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rue_d_etropal
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operating doors and gates

Postby rue_d_etropal » Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:03 am

Not only for Gn15, but one thing I have been designing has been a working level crossing. I had problems with it so put it to one side, but have had another look.
For level crossing gates the centre of rotation is centrally under the post part of the gate, so is relatively easy. My problem had been too much waggle when gate swung and my extending post down through baseboard, this stabalises it. It also means operating mechanism can be below board.
Now doors and traditional gates swing on centre point of hinge, which is on corner edge of door. A bit more difficult but I think I have done it.
Now for smaller scales the centre point of swing is not so obvious, but in bigger scales such as 1/24, this may be noticeable.
The actual mechanism for both types is same, just the design of the post extension on the gate or door. As long as the door or gate only needs to move by a quarter circle then it is simple.
For movement of more than a quarter circle, or to move 2 gates one after the other then I think I have an answer, in fact even simpler, which can be built into standard mexhanism. Aim is is build alternative connections into same mechanism.

Oh, and it is made using 3D printing. I have a sample of one idea on its way from Holland, but like many of my ideas I have already improved it as I hinted at above.
So if this works out I should have a 3D printed mechanism out soon. As the extended gate post is just square profile, it should be possible to use your own gate or door , but will need to check this out. At the moment it is based on a 2mm square, which I think is compatible with square brass tube or simple Plastruct version. I don't believe 3D printing is always the best way for everything, just better for some, and an alternative for others. The mechanisms with gear works out at about £5, but might be a bit more depending of tweaks to design. Attempting to make it as small as possible.

I had posted something on Facebook about this, and someone contacted me asking more questions, but as it is possibly of more relevance here, I prefer to put out more info here. Easier to add relevant pictures. I think having something like doors and windows that open is one advantage of the bigger scale. Just got to work out how to fit mechanism for opening shutters now!
Simon Dawson
(Simon D.),
Narrow gauge Francophile interested in 1m, 60cm,50cm , 40cm and smaller gauges . Build in scales from 1/6th to 1/24th. Also 1/32nd and 1/35th using 16.5mm track to represent 50cm and 60cm gauges.
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Re: operating doors and gates

Postby Nevadablue » Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:12 am

Interested, watching. :D I do want to do some of this type of thing using model airplane servos. They are cheap and readily controlled.
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Re: operating doors and gates

Postby rue_d_etropal » Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:33 am

not sure on the fitting of standard rc servos, my system makes use of the nice square shape of the gate post, so it is simple to fit rotating gear. Like any system, it is always possible to adapt or build something yourself, but more people these days seem to want something that is more plug and play.
Only that makes it more difficult is deciding what angle to have operating arm at. I had looked at a multi choice option, but it is over complicating things, and suspect most are happy with either a 0/90 degree or a 45 degree line up. It would be simple to offer gears mechanisms for other angles.

Something else I am wondering about is size of the square. I have started with a 2mm by 2mm, but notice most brass tube and rod is still imperial, so 2.4mm might be closer. When I worked in IT, one of the companies I worked for, briefly, was a big player in steel supply, and all measurements were still imperial, but converted to metric. A 2mm bar will fit happily in a 2.4mm square hole, so I will probably up the size. The gate posts could be thickened slightly. Advantage would then be that people can use their own doors and gates, or replace one easily.

Also found that Plastruct square rod comes in both 2.5mm and 2mm so maybe 2.5mm is best option. Always can offer 2mm and 2.5mm gears, no problem.

Feedback is important and one reason I am not rushing with this.
Simon Dawson
(Simon D.),
Narrow gauge Francophile interested in 1m, 60cm,50cm , 40cm and smaller gauges . Build in scales from 1/6th to 1/24th. Also 1/32nd and 1/35th using 16.5mm track to represent 50cm and 60cm gauges.
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Re: operating doors and gates

Postby lesmond » Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:24 pm

Simon, also watching closely, as you know, and very keen to see this. Well done, and thank you for taking the time to develop this.

The reason I'm (and likely Ken too, although I can't speak for him) are thinking of servo operation is because it it so adjustable and has a fixed range of movement. Servos are also cheap and easy to replace if they fail.

Thinking out loud, would it be possible to easily connect the mechanism which opens and closes the door directly to the splined shaft on the top of a servo to give an adjustable and speed contol-able range of movement? Obviously there isn't the torque available as there would be when using a servo extension arm, but for a door or gate this shouldn't be a problem.

I'm anxious to see your system, though, I suspect the Gnatterbox will be open in a tab for the next few days :D

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Re: operating doors and gates

Postby Nevadablue » Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:48 pm

What he said... :D

And, by using the bell crank, the leverage can be maintained too. So, even one of Egor's heavy iron gates could be moved.
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Re: operating doors and gates

Postby rue_d_etropal » Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:56 pm

first sample arrived. I knew it would not be right, but could do for demos. For some reason I had used a large hole, so had to pack it out, which amazingly worked. I also played around with wire control on first version, and it was not reliable, so system I have now arrive at will provide all that is required. I can even, in theory move 2 gates on a single crossing, in one movement of control bar. I am thinking of using something similar for my small turntables now, if this works out.
I decided to go for a post thickness of 2.4mm, as this is also available in brass, so easier to build own gates or doors. The modification required for a door to move on its hinge point still needs some more work, but the way I have decided to go with the crank mechanism should make it useful for all sorts of doors and windows. I had thought about getting gears in metal, but that is very expensive for 3D printing, and I think the WSF plastic is tough enough for the use it will get. As it is nylon, it will self lubricate as well, making for easy movement. My test model, with different gears is sticky because it is more difficult to line up.

I think it should be possible to combine what I am doing with a variable controlled servo. One reason I upped the hole size, so metal rod can be used for strength.
The type of gear mechanism must have got a proper name, but I am not an engineer, and did no technical stuff like this at school. Had to look up bell cranks. The are very different., although the way the gear sits on the post might be something similar. That part was not complex, but coming up with a simple control bar, which when moved in one direction, inter connects with the gear wheel, but then leaves it free to move, so a second quarter turn can be done. I want to be certain it works before saying more, but . I think it is closer in concept to a rack and pinion system, but a lot simpler, because it does a lot less.
Simon Dawson
(Simon D.),
Narrow gauge Francophile interested in 1m, 60cm,50cm , 40cm and smaller gauges . Build in scales from 1/6th to 1/24th. Also 1/32nd and 1/35th using 16.5mm track to represent 50cm and 60cm gauges.
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Re: operating doors and gates

Postby Nevadablue » Sat Jan 16, 2016 12:31 am

Watching from here Simon. Hope it all works out.
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Re: operating doors and gates

Postby rue_d_etropal » Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:55 am

working through design for working windows and shutters. If this works, then a door mechanism will be a lot easier. I sometimes prefer to work this way round, as the greater challenge appeals to me more. The shutters have to swing 180 degrees, but the window only swings 90 degrees. The shutters swing outwards, the windows open inwards. Design is based on typical arrangement in French houses.
It is quite complex , and the CAD program I use , nicely shows components put together(should be possible to do screen shot when needed )

Initial design is in 1/24th scale, as it is not really practical in smaller scales for windows. Doors should in theory work in smaller scales. If it works I plan to up scale to 16mm/ft(I have a potential project) and 1/12th scale. Would hope gear mechanisms will be the same and won't be resized. Might add extra detail to bigger scales.

Working on a spindle of 2.4mm square section. Just got hold of some Albion metals Brass U tube, which is technically 2.5mm, but there is enough tolerance. I aim to use this brass to modify plastic gates. Also have some other brass and some plastic on the way to try those out, but first thoughts are that the brass U tube will work fine. In theory someone could then make doors out of metal.
Simon Dawson
(Simon D.),
Narrow gauge Francophile interested in 1m, 60cm,50cm , 40cm and smaller gauges . Build in scales from 1/6th to 1/24th. Also 1/32nd and 1/35th using 16.5mm track to represent 50cm and 60cm gauges.
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Re: operating doors and gates

Postby rue_d_etropal » Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:57 pm

based on the few errors in latest level crossing mechanism, I think I will proceed more with more caution with door and window mechanism. The concept works, but just need to make a few adjustments. The WSF plastic is very tough , so I will try out a basic mechanism and if that works then proceed.
Simon Dawson
(Simon D.),
Narrow gauge Francophile interested in 1m, 60cm,50cm , 40cm and smaller gauges . Build in scales from 1/6th to 1/24th. Also 1/32nd and 1/35th using 16.5mm track to represent 50cm and 60cm gauges.
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Re: operating doors and gates

Postby rue_d_etropal » Sun Feb 14, 2016 2:43 pm

apart from a slight error in design, resulting in base being very thin(but Shapeways did not reject it!!) I think this is pretty close. Some more on order, but this seems to work fine for level crossing gate, so should be fine for doors and gates. Photo shows it for level crossing, so gives some idea of small size.
Image

There is a small gear inside. Basically it is a simplified rack and pinion I think. There are 2 pins on the control arm, so the gate could be moved through 180 degrees. It can fit on top of board( a lot easier) but could be fitted under. The gear fitted is set so you have to be at right angles, but in theory I can make new gears for any angle.

The brass tube just fits nicely. The 3D printing actually made hole slightly too small, so it is a tight fit. Could use plastic tube or H section. just as long as it is square. I hot some H section to try, as I think it will do nicely for doors, here the hinge is offset, and would need to turn more than 90 degrees.

In fact apart from its lo height, the ease with which it can move something though angles more than 90 degrees gives it the edge. I am sure it would be possible to actually move the control arm with another motor, but I like the simplicity of moving it myself, real digital operation!
Simon Dawson
(Simon D.),
Narrow gauge Francophile interested in 1m, 60cm,50cm , 40cm and smaller gauges . Build in scales from 1/6th to 1/24th. Also 1/32nd and 1/35th using 16.5mm track to represent 50cm and 60cm gauges.
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Re: operating doors and gates

Postby Nevadablue » Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:09 am

A rack gear, very interesting Simon.
I found my box of servos and the controller yesterday. :D
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Re: operating doors and gates

Postby lesmond » Mon Feb 15, 2016 11:03 am

Hi Simon,

That looks interesting - I've a few ideas in mind (in the medium term) that can use it.

Thanks for sharing.

Les
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Re: operating doors and gates

Postby rue_d_etropal » Mon Feb 15, 2016 11:40 am

Thing about servos, I think is that maximum angle of movement of each join is 90 degrees. Only way to get greater movement with one bit is something like coupling rods on loco, outside frame. Even then it is not an even movement in one direction. For those building their own mechanism, who are comfortable doing it, this is fine, but I wanted something that was easier to install, and everything is included. As far as I can tell the plastic is strong enough, and I can't see it getting worn out quickly. If that does happen, spares can be bought easily, like all 3D printing.

As I designed my system I realised it was probably more familiar to those designing locking mechanisms. The door locks on my French house have a double action, so to move bolt across you have to turn key twice. This is not much different to my design, just other way round. Each movement of the 'bolt' moves the 'key' through 90 degrees.

I am also looking to see if it could be used to operate small turntable, as my current design for that only allows 90 degree turn, which is enough for most things.

It was only when I showed my test model to friends that t was confirmed to be a simplified rack and pinion. Standard rack and pinions have lots of teeth, but not only would this be more complex to design, but tolerances/variations in 3D printing result in small sections being more difficult to create accurately. They would also be weaker, unless I made gear wheel of much larger diameter, which I did not.
The standard design is set to operating at 90 degrees or parallel to door. I can easier design versions of the gear with different angles.

I am also considering making a version that can fit a signal wire, so it could be used to operate signals easily. That would use the window/shutter type version as this has control arm rotated through 90 degrees. If the control arm is thought to be in xy plane, then the gear wheel is in yz plane. I have a test sample of the window mechanism, which I will photo.
Image
Note the gear on right is actually in wrong position. On the new version, there is a cover so gear won't slip out of position so easily, and also the square sections which go through gear wheel will be longer. They are a lot stronger, yet still flexible enough.

and

Image

I have separated out the mechanism part so it can be used on different window sizes. This will also form basis for the signal operating mechanism.


The shutter version sits below the window, and on outside edge, and the offset shutter spindle will move through 180 degrees. I had to increase width of window so there was enough room for control bars to move, having tries various options of one being in parallel plane to other, but there was always something in the way.

In theory, the mechanism should work other way round. rotating the gear should move the lever, but there is too much slack, so it would require some more design, possibly a bigger gear to give it more strength. Not impossible, but does need some thought.
Simon Dawson
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Narrow gauge Francophile interested in 1m, 60cm,50cm , 40cm and smaller gauges . Build in scales from 1/6th to 1/24th. Also 1/32nd and 1/35th using 16.5mm track to represent 50cm and 60cm gauges.
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Re: operating doors and gates

Postby Willow Creek Traction » Mon Feb 15, 2016 12:07 pm

Man, 3D printing has opened up possibilities. On material strength and hole fits, is it possible that over time stresses from that brass in a slightly too tight hole could lead to plastic cracking?
later, Forrest Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality. -- Nikola Tesla, July, 1934

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Re: operating doors and gates

Postby rue_d_etropal » Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:00 pm

not sure on stress factor. I do know that because of the granular structure to the plastic, if I use snippers to cut it, the force will sometime cause a stress break/cut, so for critical modification I use a craft knife. I would rather have the fitting slightly loose, especially as it would make it easier to take apart.

I am trying to find new ideas for the material which actually benefit from the properties others seem to critisise , because it is not really suitable for what they want. It suits me though. Not a problem with the material, just the uninformed people who misuse it.

The three relatively new processes should be combined to make best use of each. The 3 processes are laser cutting, silhouette cutting and 3D printing. Coach sides are better done on a silhouette cutter, with the framework either laser cut then assembled(airplane style) or 3D printed. Interior detail could be 3D printed. The materials are all porous and will stick together using cheap superglue.
Simon Dawson
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Re: operating doors and gates

Postby Willow Creek Traction » Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:29 pm

Looked up silhouette cutting but got only art and craft results; what does the term define in this context?
later, Forrest Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality. -- Nikola Tesla, July, 1934

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Re: operating doors and gates

Postby rue_d_etropal » Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:34 am

silhouette cutters are mainly used by the arts and craft people. In effect a bit like laser cutting(same design software) but a blade instead of the laser. Ideal for paper and thin card. Some have managed to use it on plastic.
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Re: operating doors and gates

Postby Nevadablue » Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:48 am

Silhouette is a brand of cutter. There are several models. I chose the Curio because it has a rigid moving deck and can load thicker materials. They are essentially plotters with a knife instead of a pen. Mine will handle pens, knives and embossing tools. I have successfully cut through .010" styrene, although they are made for cutting things like vinyl and paper.
I am VERY impressed with the accuracy and ease of use of the machine. Building paper based rolling stock will be a piece of cake. Buildings, accessories, all are fair game for things you would cut out with a knife. I've seen amazing structures and models made with laminated sections cut by one of the machines.
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Re: operating doors and gates

Postby Willow Creek Traction » Tue Feb 16, 2016 3:55 am

Okay, thanks! Talking about paper rolling stock, within the last few days I was showing a couple online friends the photos a couple fellows in Brussels - edit, check that, it's Brno - took of a paper model show there and posted on papermodelers.com; and, along the way mentioned from several years ago here where Michael in Canada had made pulp and then cast paper coach (carriage for my UK friends :wink: ) sides.
Paper is great stuff, I love it, but issues with my hands have forced me to less labor intensive materials. :( Styrene for example - recently needed square tube for a project, fabricating that shape from paper sheet requires rather more manipulation than buying Plastruct or Evergreen stock and cutting a piece off.
later, Forrest Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality. -- Nikola Tesla, July, 1934

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Re: operating doors and gates

Postby rue_d_etropal » Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:00 pm

Michael inspired me to use mashed paper(I did buy my own electric blending machine though, and have broken several over the years). Main problem is that it shrinks as it dries, so Micheal found it not so good for coach sides.

Even without a silhouette cutting machine, it would be possible to print out design on paper or thin card, and cut out coach sides manually. I have had a play with the design software when I was considering laser cutting designed stuff, but found it not as easy to use. suspect if I had time I would master it. There are a few people using it to create laminated coach sides.
A few years ago I got hold of some A4 sized stick label sheet(one label A4 sized). I could print design on it, stick it on plastic and use it to cut out design. I still have some sheets, so I could try that again. In fact I used it to create windows. Any drawing software will work. Might be a useful way to create first shape, or to create surround for glazing. The paper would then stick to other paper easily, but have not tried it, so don't know effect of superglue on it.
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Re: operating doors and gates

Postby rue_d_etropal » Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:48 am

finally got a working sample. I had done level crossing and that now works, so next was an opening door(waiting for a missing part to complete window).
Image

then it opens one step

Image

notice control stick under has moved

then full open

Image

and finally from other side.

Image

It might look a bit Hearth Robinson, but the drawing pins hold the unit to base OK, and can in theory be taken apart to fiddle
I think when it built into proper model building it will be more stable, as it does still wobble a bit, but is good enough for Rainhill exhibition this weekend, followed then by Macclesfield. Might have more done on building by the time of Derby and Manchester DCC in May.
Simon Dawson
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Narrow gauge Francophile interested in 1m, 60cm,50cm , 40cm and smaller gauges . Build in scales from 1/6th to 1/24th. Also 1/32nd and 1/35th using 16.5mm track to represent 50cm and 60cm gauges.
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Re: operating doors and gates

Postby rue_d_etropal » Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:22 pm

Now available. Very basic, but with 2 studs on lever can move door or gate through 180 degrees.
Simon Dawson
(Simon D.),
Narrow gauge Francophile interested in 1m, 60cm,50cm , 40cm and smaller gauges . Build in scales from 1/6th to 1/24th. Also 1/32nd and 1/35th using 16.5mm track to represent 50cm and 60cm gauges.
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Re: operating doors and gates

Postby lesmond » Sun Mar 13, 2016 6:34 pm

Simon, thanks for taking the time to develop this and also for showing us how it works.

I will be using at least two of them, but not for a while, as the modelling backlog is steadily growing, and I've had an exhibition invite for 2017 for a railway which is so far only a drawing...

Les
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complete buildings, using modular design

Postby rue_d_etropal » Sat Jun 18, 2016 11:06 am

Thought I should get this moving again. Too much talk about what runs on track and not enough about buildings.
Not enough time , but too many ideas.
I have been working on my 3D printed buildings for smaller scales. It is not worth offering them in bigger scales(yet) as price is far too high. But, I am wondering about something similar for bigger scales. I am currently working on warehouse design parts, and have been able to combine open door with inset track,and could make door to open(when I design that part).
This got me thinking about bigger scales. Problem is mainly height, which can be increased easily. Width is an issue. If Gn15 locos and wagons are very narrow then they would fit through same gap, but a quick look at Heywood book, and I think I might be better increasing overall width, to say 90mm(120mm for wider gauges). This will enable 60mm modules to be used in conjunction. Height would be 120mm, possibly 150mm. This should be big enough for doors and windows. Various surfaces could be done, including corrugated iron(only just thought of that one which could also be used in smaller scales!) .
Now the warehouse doors sections can be done without doors, which can then be made to open and close. It might be possible to merge this with my existing(and still in testing) window and door system.

Based on what I have been doing for smaller scales, I can add extra detail(eg drainpipes and gutters), and adapt this to suit anything from 1/43 , 1/32 up to 1/18. Customisation, would also be possible, so I could offer bespoke designs if asked.
I know many here are happy to in effect scatch-build, but more people in hobby are shifting towards r2p buildings and I still think I can offer something in between.
Simon Dawson
(Simon D.),
Narrow gauge Francophile interested in 1m, 60cm,50cm , 40cm and smaller gauges . Build in scales from 1/6th to 1/24th. Also 1/32nd and 1/35th using 16.5mm track to represent 50cm and 60cm gauges.
http://www.rue-d-etropal.com

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Nevadablue
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Interests: model trains, model steam
Gn15, G, 1:24ish people and scenery

Re: operating doors and gates

Postby Nevadablue » Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:23 pm

Simon, I've found 3D printed stuff to be too expensive for me. I suspect a lot of others have that problem too.

What if you offered the 'hardware' and left the actual doors and windows to the builder? The hardware could be fitted to nearly any size/scale building since the actual weight and mass of the door or window is pretty insignificant. Just an idea.
Ken


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